On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 10, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Loving the Lord our God is never a private affair, neither is our faith in Him. For the only true measure of our love is how we love His children, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and His other sheep not of our fold. For His will is that we love one another as He first loved us. So that we might live fully in His love.

At every proclamation of the Gospel at every Holy Eucharist, Jesus tells us just how much He loves us. Today He reminds us that He had come to set us free from the bondages of sin. To heal and restore us. We can live in peace and joy in the loving embrace of God our Father.

We are no longer slaves to fear, for we live as children so loved by our one triune God. Amen

Gospel

Luke 4:14-22
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.

Gospel

Luke 4:14-22
‘This text is being fulfilled today, even as you listen’

Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside. He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.
He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for he has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,
to proclaim liberty to captives
and to the blind new sight,
to set the downtrodden free,
to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 9, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

We all go through many fears in our lives. Fear for the well being of our families, fear of losing our jobs, fear of the unknown, fear of evil that lurks, fear of illness and diseases, fear of old age, fear of war, fear of not knowing if we will live to see another day, the list is endless.

Could it be that all this is a result of our imperfect love? For if we truly believe that God is love as He is indeed,and it is by His love we are perfected;then what have we to fear? For does He not dwell in our hearts? How can He not? When we seek Him in His Word daily, we receive Jesus Himself in Holy Eucharist. He makes Himself present to us, are we then present to Him? Do we live in His presence according to His Will?

Lord Jesus I know You are here with me and I am no longer fearful. For by Your love I have been set free to live and love in Your presence. Amen

First reading

1 John 4:11-18
As long as we love one another God’s love will be complete in us

My dear people,
since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.
Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear; because even in this world we have become as he is.
In love there can be no fear,
but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.

Gospel

Mark 6:45-52
His disciples saw him walking on the lake

After the five thousand had eaten and were filled, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray. When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. He could see they were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the lake they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But he at once spoke to them, and said, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

The only way to bring others to the knowledge of our Lord and God is by our love. Our love put into the service of others. When they see that we have offered up our time as God’s time. When they see in our faces the joy of having the love of God in our hearts. When they witness in us, our faithfulness in times of trials and challenges. Just as our Shepherd our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ never abandons us. They therefore see Christ in us.

Yes sisters and brothers in Christ, all the above is possible and much more through the grace of God. For the abundant love of God our Father was outpoured through the blood of His only Begotten Son who died to take away our sins and rose so that we might have new life in Him. Jesus gives us the supreme gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist to become partakers of His divine grace. We are nourished as we are sent to be beacons of His light. To gather all unto Himself.

Thank You Lord for Your great unending love for us. Amen

First reading

1 John 4:7-10
Let us love one another, since love comes from God

My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;this is the love I mean: not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

Gospel

Mark 6:34-44
The feeding of the five thousand

As Jesus stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late. So send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’ ‘How many loaves have you?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he ordered them to get all the people together in groups on the green grass, and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all. They all ate as much as they wanted. They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish. Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Never should we ever take our baptism into Christ for granted. For by our one Baptism we belong to God our ever loving Father. We are inserted into life with Christ Jesus our Lord and saviour. His laws are written in our hearts and we are able to follow His commandments. We have the Holy Spirit to guide and unite us all.

Do you then want to give up your heavenly inheritance? By following the children of the world? To follow the voice even if it is your very own which causes disunity? To live in sin and debauchery. To allow your pride to prevent you from glorifying the Lord your God as you should? To allow lust and greed to take away love, honour and respect?

The kingdom of God is indeed at hand. Come to our Lord Jesus Christ who will heal and restore you. Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:22-4:6
The Son of God has come and given us the power to know the true God

Whatever we ask God,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.

It is not every spirit, my dear people, that you can trust;
test them, to see if they come from God, there are many false prophets, now, in the world.
You can tell the spirits that come from God by this:
every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh
is from God; but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus is not from God, but is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you were warned about.
Well, now he is here, in the world. Children you have already overcome these false prophets, because you are from God and you have in you one who is greater than anyone in this world; as for them, they are of the world,
and so they speak the language of the world
and the world listens to them.
But we are children of God,
and those who know God listen to us;those who are not of God refuse to listen to us.
This is how we can tell
the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.

Gospel

Matthew 4:12-17,23-25
The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light

Hearing that John had been arrested, Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:

‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan, Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness has seen a great light; on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’

From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’
He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people. His fame spread throughout Syria, and those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one kind or another, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, were all brought to him, and he cured them. Large crowds followed him, coming from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and Transjordania.


On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys, Sunday Reflections

A King to Behold: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Readings:

Isaiah 60:1–6
Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 10–11, 12–13
Ephesians 3:2–3, 5–6
Matthew 2:1–12

An “epiphany” is an appearance. In today’s readings, with their rising stars, splendorous lights, and mysteries revealed, the face of the child born on Christmas day appears.

Herod, in today’s Gospel, asks the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah is to be born. The answer Matthew puts on their lips says much more, combining two strands of Old Testament promise—one revealing the Messiah to be from the line of David (see 2 Samuel 2:5), the other predicting “a ruler of Israel” who will “shepherd his flock” and whose “greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth” (see Micah 5:1–3).

Those promises of Israel’s king ruling the nations resound also in today’s Psalm. The psalm celebrates David’s son, Solomon. His kingdom, we sing, will stretch “to the ends of the earth,” and the world’s kings will pay Him homage. That’s the scene too in today’s First Reading, as nations stream from the East, bearing “gold and frankincense” for Israel’s king.

The Magi’s pilgrimage in today’s Gospel marks the fulfillment of God’s promises. The Magi, probably Persian astrologers, are following the star that Balaam predicted would rise along with the ruler’s staff over the house of Jacob (see Numbers 24:17).
Laden with gold and spices, their journey evokes those made to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba and the “kings of the earth” (see 1 Kings 10:2, 25; 2 Chronicles 9:24). Interestingly, the only other places where frankincense and myrrh are mentioned together are in songs about Solomon (see Song of Songs 3:6; 4:6, 14).

One greater than Solomon is here (see Luke 11:31). He has come to reveal that all peoples are “co-heirs” of the royal family of Israel, as today’s Epistle teaches.
His manifestation forces us to choose: will we follow the signs that lead to Him as the wise Magi did? Or will we be like those priests and scribes who let God’s words of promise become dead letters on an ancient page?

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 5, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

If you say that you love God then you must put your love for Him into action. Otherwise it is only lip service. For if the love of God reigns in your heart then your faith in Him is alive and active. You will be moved to love and to serve. And witness the glory of God in all things.

Therefore strive for Holiness in all things. Let no deceit enter your heart. If tempted to sin, ask yourself this question. Do you love the sin more or do you love God more? Is your soul more valuable or the sin?

In all things let us love and give glory to the Lord our God. Amen

First reading

1 John 3:11-21
Our love is to be something real and active

This is the message
as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another; not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat;cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you;we have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure
because we love our brothers.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love –
that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods
saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him,
how could the love of God be living in him?
My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence.

Gospel

John 1:43-51
You will see heaven laid open, and the Son of Man

After Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me.’ Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’